Posts tagged under: Restaurant

Vegan Paris: Pre-Trip Planning

Posted on August 11th, 2015 · By admin

Louvre

Louvre

Vegan Paris

It’s been a while since I visited Paris. The last time I visited I was meeting my youngest sister who was living in Barcelona at the time. For some reason, I never truly understood, she refused to visit me in London. Even though she lived and worked in London for many years. I was always ok with that because hey Barcelona is pretty nice. Paris turned out to be a great meeting point as she was there to attend an event for Parsons Paris and, I was there to eat my way through it.

In the past, I’d make at least one trip a year, usually, in autumn. Paris has a lot to offer so it doesn’t matter what time of year you go. There is just so much to do. As Amy Thomas states,“one of the best ways to immerse yourself in French culture is with food.” And I totally agree so as always the focus will be on eating. It’s safe to say that’s what I do best.

I’ll be hopping on the Eurostar Thursday morning and returning on Saturday evening. So, I’ll have to make the most of the three days I have.

Here’s where my online research and pre-trip planning comes in.


Restaurants

Bob’s Kitchen

The last time I was in Paris Bob’s Kitchen was one of my first stops as it’s not too far a walk from Gare du Nord. It’s not strictly vegan, but vegans won’t have any problem eating at this vegetarian canteen. Get there early, as it tends to fill up quickly, if you want a seat. I do remember being disappointed that they didn’t have any vegan desserts, but I left feeling satisfied after a tasty meal.

Loving Hut

Loving Cult, I mean Loving Hut have outlets all over the world, but I only seem to eat there when I visit Paris. Located on Beaumarchais in the 11th arrondissement. A friendly French-Canadian guy runs this branch. If I remember correctly it’s not open all day so check the operating hours before you go. I tend to go for the soups and salads. Loving Hut is a pretty safe, cheap and cheerful bet for the budget conscious.

Le Potager du Maris

Did someone say crème brûlée? This should be reason enough to make your way over to Le Potager du Maris. It’s located on Rambuteau near the Pompidou. Portions look huge from the photos I’ve seen online and can probably feed four. This place is definitely for sharing so make sure you bring friends. According to Happy Cow, it’s been vegan since 2012. Reservations are suggested.

Tien Hiang

If I want bánh xèo in London I have to make it myself, not so in Paris. Tien Hiang comes recommended as a Vietnamese/Chinese vegan friendly spot that uses no eggs. According to reviews you can request an English menu, which also features set menus. Tien Hiang may not be the place to go if you want a leisurely or relaxed experience. It’s located near metro Goncourt and it’s not far from Republique. They don’t take reservations so you might have to wait for a table.

Le Centre Tout Naturellement

Le Centre Tout Naturellement is a full service spa where you can take a sauna or naturopathic massage, get a facial, and eat a 10 euro set vegan lunch consisting of local, fresh, organic produce. Once you enter the small and quiet courtyard you have to ring a bell to be let in. Located in the 9th arrondissement near metro: Poissonnière.


Vegan Markets

Un Monde du Vegan

Un Monde du Vegan is a vegan shop selling only vegan products, mostly, made in France. It’s chock- full of all the packaged junk food you could ever want. In addition to ‘boursin style’ vegan cheese you can find supplements, food for cats and dogs, cosmetics, cleaning products, shoes, belts, accessories and a lot more. Located in the 3rd arrondissement near metro: Strasbourg – Saint-Denis.

Carmen Ragosta

Carmen Ragosta is a clothing boutique that doubles as a restaurant. It’s a precursor to the hip Hackney combination businesses that are now popping up everywhere. She designs clothes and cooks Italian food for lunch. Everyone raves about the tiramisu, but call in advance for the vegan version. Located in the 10th arrondissment and the nearest metro is Jacques Bonsergent.



Henri Cartier-Bresson

Henri Cartier-Bresson

Museums

Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson

Unless it rains, I probably won’t have much time for museums on this trip. I have so much eating to do. The Foundation has a few of Cartier-Bresson’s photographs on display so if that’s your main reason for visiting you might be disappointed. If you’re prepared to be surprised (or you can call ahead) the Foundation curates a large number of exhibitions throughout the year with photographers from around the world. Located in the 14th arrondissement nearest metro: Gaîté.

Musée Picasso Paris

The Picasso Museum reopened in October of last year, €22 million over budget and three years behind schedule. It’s definitely worth a visit, but will I have enough time. The exhibition space is now double the size with many more works on display than ever before. I could easily spend an entire day there. Obviously, if the weather takes a foul turn three to four hours taking in the exhibition would be perfect. Located in the Marais in the 3rd arrondissement nearest metro: Chemin Vert.

I could go on and on, but I’m going to leave you here folks. So if anyone ever asks you, “What are you going to eat in Paris?” tell him or her that they don’t know what they’re talking about. “French food isn’t all crème, fromage et beurre!”

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Maitreya Social

Posted on July 12th, 2013 · By admin

Samphire Fritters- Maitreya Social

Samphire Fritters- Maitreya Social

Is a restaurant and arts space from chef Barney McGrath, who has taken over from former chef/proprietor Mark Evans. Maitreya Social or the former Café Maitreya has always been placed in the top 5 or 10 must visit veggie restaurants in the UK. Since we were in Bristol for the VegFest anyway we decided to check it out.

I made reservations, a few weeks ago, as the website states: “Its always best to book a table in the evening as we are often full.”

Once we arrived, I didn’t get the sense we needed reservations anyway.

Waiting at the bar, sipping cocktails until a table became available might have been nice. Within two minutes a friendly server appeared and whisked us to the upstairs dinning area on the far right next to the empty wine bottle and light display.

The place has a comfy vibe and looks like a house that has been converted into a restaurant not unlike buildings you might find in some areas of San Francisco or Brighton. As it’s also an art space the quirkiness extends to the work hanging on the walls and the vibrant furniture installation placed next to the door of the upstairs dinning room. We were seated at the only other table for two with the rest being larger tables of four or more. At one particular table, full of social workers, you could tell they had been coming here for years.

The menu is small – all items fit on one page. I find it kind of scary dinning at a restaurant where they hand you a book for the menu. So small is good. The menu is seasonal with a few nods to the Mediterranean, Middle East and Asia and a number of vegan and gluten free options. Beetroot appears on the menu as a starter and as a side dish. Reminding you that seasonal and local are not just buzz words. The wine menu is also compact. Nevertheless, they managed to squeeze in an English white: Davenport Vineyards Horsmonden Dry, 2010 England described as ‘light, vibrant and super-fresh with a touch of citrus fruit’. Moderation is the key word here with no bottles priced over £30 and most well below that.

To start we had olives served in a ramekin with a soft white bap. And a deep-fried, tempura battered, ladder lattice of samphire sitting on a bed of slightly pickled carrot, red onion and cabbage accompanied by an equally delicious zingy tri-colour dressing. Instead of taking copious photos, I’d advise you to eat this dish fairly quickly – while it’s still hot. To drink we decided to play it safe and order the IGT Sicilia Mont’albano Nero d’Avola, 2010 Italy. On the other hand if you order the Roasted Shallot, Chestnut and Chestnut Mushroom Bourguignon I suggest you eat it slowly as it’s piping hot due to the fact that it’s served in a Mauviel Copper Mini Sauteuse with mini polenta cakes and broccoli crowns. The vegan option comes without the cheese, but the polenta and broccoli seemed orphaned. Perhaps adding another ingredient, not a fake cheese, might bring it together. Chef Barney’s take on a Laksa consisted of Cauliflower, Coconut and Tamarind with steamed rice pancake rolls and spinach and cashew dumplings. I would have liked a bit of heat to accompany this dish, but even without the heat it was flavourful and inventive. For dessert, we had the Pistachio, Almond & Vanilla Baklava. Of all the dishes we ordered I’d have to say this one missed the mark. The chocolate and passion fruit sauce clashed and the texture of the baklava were a bit chewy.

Maitreya Social is the kind of place where you’ll immediately feel comfortable, whether you’re a local, regular or just a visitor. If you are in Bristol it’s the place to go for friendly service and a compact menu of generous vegetarian comfort food.

Location: Maitreya Social, 89 St Mark’s Road, Easton, Bristol, BS5 6HY, 0117 951 0100 http://www.cafemaitreya.co.uk/

Prices: Starters, £4 to £5; Mains, £9 to £10; Extras, £2 to £4; Desserts, £5; Wine £13 to £30.

Details: Open 6 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday, 10 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Closed Monday.

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